Infrastructure works information sharing program could save City of Perth millions

Martin Mileham. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Martin Mileham. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

AN infrastructure works information sharing program is set to save City of Perth millions of dollars over the next 10 years, according to chief executive Martin Mileham.

The one-year Smarter Planning Perth (SPP) pilot is a mapping-based system that allows agencies to upload future infrastructure works data such as timelines, locations and equipment required, where it is analysed and identifies where the different parties can work together.

The pilot has been underway within the City for six months and launched today by Esri Australia

Works planned for up to five years ahead can be uploaded in an effort to reduce the potential for multiple works to be carried out in the same area but is not accessible to the public.

ATCO Gas Australia, City of Perth, Main Roads WA, Water Corporation and Western Power shares its information as part of the program, and were all financial contributors.

Mr Mileham said the focus of the program, which is already a finalist in the 26th WA Information Technology and Telecommunications Alliance (WAITTA) INCITE Awards, was to reduce traffic congestion in the CBD.

“The aim of the pilot was to synchronise work within the city boundary, minimising disruption to traffic,” he said.

“For example, Wellington Street was blocked by three consecutive pipe bursts (when) at least one of those might have been averted by better sharing of data.

“Elizabeth Quay, another example, we had a case there where there’s probably excavation done twice that could have been done once.”

He said despite the program being in operation since the beginning of the year, a cost saving figure had not yet been established, but projected up to millions of dollars saved in the future.

“I can only speak for the City and our capital works program is estimated around $50 million a year and that’s spread over everything we do including maintenance, so we will see significant savings on maintenance,” he said.

“It could be in the millions ultimately, it could certainly be in the tens of hundreds of thousands in the short term.”

US Global Cities expert and former Baltimore mayor Governor Martin O’Malley, who was in Perth, said multiple works was the “bane of every Mayor’s existence.”

He ruled out security risks for the information being loaded into the mapping system.